KatieKat 2007 Cruise Chapter One

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GoBackTo 2006 Chapter Four
7 January, 2007La Paz Cruising
11 January, 2007To Mazatlan
16 January, 2007Mazatlan Southwards
30 January, 2007Banderas Bay
GoFwdTo 2007 Chapter Two

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7 January, 2007 -- La Paz Cruising

Right after the New Year we took off from La Paz to cruise the nearby islands of Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida (see chart below).

[Photo of well-used sailing gloves] Ok, maybe it's time to replace these sailing gloves ...

[Photo of Dockwise ship loading] We were amazed to see a Dockwise ship in the process of loading -
had no idea they serviced La Paz! Hmmm...

[Partida Cove view] [KatieKat anchored in Partida Cove]

We anchored in Partida Cove with a few other boats. I've taken to swimming around anchorages and checking out anchors (in addition to my own). Need to get an underwater camera and start recording some of the other boats' appalling anchor 'settings'. This snapshot of KatieKat I took while holding the precious camera above my head when swimming around the boat.

[Photo Christmas tree being dismantled] When we returned to La Paz, the Christmas "tree" was in the process of being dismantled. Ingenious use of chicken-wire and green fuzzy strands.

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11 January, 2007 -- To Mazatlan

After our pleasant cruise to the islands and brief stay back in Marina Costa Baja, it was time to move on ... off across the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) to Mazatlan. Light winds mostly off the aft quarter resulted in a slow but pleasant three-day two-night passage.

[Map of California and Baja] Screenshot during our passage.

[Mika stretched out in alligator position] Despite looking as though she were seasick, Mika is actually doing just fine in her favorite position on the spinnaker bag.

[Battery currents] [Solar charging currents]

Nice to see the newly-installed solar and battery system working nicely, with over 20 amps pumping into the batteries. In the left photo, despite Battery One being flooded lead-acid and Battery Two being AGM, the currents are nicely balanced into these paralleled batteries. In the right photo, note the forward solar panels putting out 11.1 amps but the highly-efficient regulator is converting that and actually putting out 12.6 amps into the batteries! Way cool, technically.

Presently, we are newly-arrived in Mazatlan and staying at Marina Mazatlan in the El Cid area north of the city.

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16 January, 2007 -- Mazatlan Southwards

Inasmuch as we agreed to meet Kathy's niece in Puerto Vallarta in a week, we decided to forego any in-depth touristing of Mazatlan and continue southward, figuring that we can be tourists in the future if we come back up this way.

[KatieKat docked in front of apartments under construction] Tremendous amount of construction going on everywhere, primarily condominiums and timeshares to capture the gringo dollar. This did not make for a quiet marina during the day, but we were lucky even to get a slip - at Marina Mazatlan north of the city!

After reprovisioning, we headed south...

[View shoreward towards Mazatlan, with a peaky hill jutting out] Leaving Mazatlan. I can't tell if another cruise ship is visible behind the hill. That sharp peak reminds me a little of the Glasshouse Mountains when approaching Moreton Bay in Queensland.

[Two pairs of anchoring gloves.] After receiving a response about the photo above of the worn sailing gloves, I need to emphasize that I do NOT use sailing gloves for anchoring! Instead, I use the leather gloves for lowering the anchor (these propane-handling gloves from New Zealand had lasted the longest), but for raising the anchor I use these wonderfully-sticky Alaskan fisherman's gloves.

[Chart showing features between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta] We shot straight down, stopping at Isla Isabela for a day.

We left Mazatlan at mid-morning and arrived at Isla Isabela at dawn. Dropped the hook in a tenuous anchorage - after a great snorkel swim to check the anchor and local critters, I caught up on some sleep. Isla Isabela is a bird sanctuary.

[Photo of rocky outcrop] [Panoramic view of Isla Isabela] [Water temperature 87.2 degrees F]

We anchored on the east side by two distinctive rock spires called Las Monas (mannequins). The center photo is a panoramic view of the island as we were leaving late in the afternoon (a couple of other boats has pulled into the anchorage), and the right photo shows the water temperature.

A gentle all-night and all-day sail brought us into Banderas Bay, where we anchored in La Cruz (full name is La Cruz de Huanacaxtle) for the night before proceeding down to Puerto Vallarta.

[Puerto Vallarta harbor entrance with cruise ship in foreground.] Entering Puerto Vallarta. Something intimidating about being this close to a cruise ship, even if it's tied up to the dock. On KatieKat note the ever-present personal stabilizing line, grab-handle attached to the new solar panels, the unobtrusive bicycle dripping rust onto the deck, the AIS antenna sitting on a broomstick, and one of the solar/LED garden lights we use as an additional anchor light.

We were lucky to find dockspace in Marina Nuevo Vallarta north of the city, as all the other marinas were full!

[View of Marina Nuevo Vallarta and KatieKat] Marina Nuevo Vallarta. KatieKat is easily identifiable by the bright yellow SeaCycle we carry across the back.

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30 January, 2007 -- Banderas Bay Visitors

Kathy's sister-in-law Carolyn and niece Melissa flew down to visit us for a week. The women did all the usual tourist things, but I did manage to get them out for a day's sail to Las Tres Marietas and then another daysail down to Yelapa.

Shopping excursion photos omitted.

[Two whales] Obligatory photo of whales we saw along the way to Las Tres Marietas. Hope we never bump into one of these critters!

[Three women in water with snorkel gear and waving] After we anchored and after they watched me successfully swim around for a half-hour and return unscathed and then regale them with tales of abundant sea-life, they all jumped in and stared at the fishies themselves. Actually, I think they just wanted the freshwater shower afterwards.

Shopping excursion photos omitted.

[Three females] That's them without the headgear.

Shopping excursion photos omitted.

[All four, Joe in Mexican hat] What if we refused to do all the stupid tourist things?

Shopping excursion photos omitted.

[Melissa parasailing] [Melissa parasailing]

I refrained from telling Melissa about the guy on the stretcher who flew back to the States on my plane with a broken back after his para-sailing experience.

Shopping excursion photos omitted.

[Three females holding iguana] Yelapa. Obligatory tourist photo of them holding an iguana. At least there's a catamaran in the background.

[Kathy holding iguana] Kathy actually enjoys strange critters, which is why she probably puts up with me. This little guy is better-looking.

Shopping excursion photos omitted.

[Kathy and Joe sipping wine] On the day of our wedding anniversary and after our day's sail to the Marietas we returned only to find our slip taken! Anchored in the harbor overnight and celebrated onboard, but we sure miss the Australia Day fireworks we had become used to!

Shopping excursion photos omitted.

Melissa and Carolyn left happy (I think).

We are now preparing to head back northward into the Sea of Cortez to do some exploring there before it starts getting hot. So far, the weather has been very pleasant - no excessive heat nor cold and only a slight rain sprinkle or two and, most importantly, no bugs!

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